Balotelli back for Italy

Recalled ... Italy striker Mario Balotelli (Getty Images)

Mario Balotelli is among six players recalled by Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying games against Armenia and Denmark.

Manchester City striker Balotelli returns to the Azzurri squad after missing games against Malta and Bulgaria with an eye injury, with Domenico Criscito, Alberto Gilardino, Andrea Ranocchia, Antonio Candreva and Stephan El Shaarawy also welcomed back into the fold.

Italy first travels to Armenia for the Group B qualifier on 12 October, before facing Denmark at the San Siro in Milan on 16 October.

Zenit St Petersburg defender Criscito is recalled after being sent home from EURO 2012 due to a betting investigation. The 25-year-old former Juventus man was never charged.

Bologna forward Gilardino and Inter Milan defender Ranocchia make the 27-man squad for the first time in 2012, while Lazio midfielder Candreva returns for the first time having been dropped from the Azzurri's pre-FIFA World Cup training camp in 2010.

Prandelli has opted to take another look at AC Milan's El Shaarawy after the teenage forward hit five goals in four games for the Rossoneri.

Italy squad: Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli), Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain), Viviano (Fiorentina); Abate (AC Milan), Balzaretti (Roma), Barzagli (Juventus), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus),Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg), Maggio (Napoli), Ogbonna (Torino), Ranocchia (Inter Milan); Candreva (Lazio), De Rossi (Roma), Diamanti (Bologna), Giaccherini (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (AC Milan), Pirlo (Juventus), Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain); Balotelli (Manchester City), Destro (Roma), El Shaarawy (AC Milan), Gilardino (Bologna), Giovinco (Juventus), Osvaldo (Roma)

Source PA Sport